As Saint Ignatiussees it, love leadsto a lust for life, adelight and relish inthe gifts and gracesof God in which wefully rejoice.
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erable, sex-hating version of Chris-
tianity, but in a famous sermon, he
also said, “The whole life of a good
Christian is holy desire. What you
desire you cannot see yet. But the
desire gives you the capacity, so that
when it does happen that you see,
you may be fulfilled … this is our
life, to be exercised by desire.”
Augustine sees all true desire
as rooted in God, who is the source
of our entire human capacity to
love, and the ultimate goal of all our
loving. He sees any type of vicious
desire as a toxic and self-destructive
forgetfulness of our authentic goal
and purpose, which is to mirror, in
the way we love ourselves and oth-
ers, the way in which God loves us.
We get diverted from what is best byperceiving and treating lesser thingsas goods, as commodities to begrasped, owned, and exploited forgratification alone. When we takethings out of their proper context,they become destructive. A propercontext here means that our sexualdesire stays linked to genuine loveand intimacy. God’s love is notopposed to eros (sexual love) butincludes it.
What the church does warnagainst is acting on sexual drivesthat make us think about bodies—our own or those of others—in adisconnected and instrumental way.
If we only focus on isolated parts of
the human body as producing feel-
ings and satisfaction, it’s as if there
weren’t a whole person involved.
This is where the difference betweenlove and lust lies.
Saint Augustine might be calledthe patron saint of desire. He wasthe one, after all, who prayed, “Lord,give me chastity, but not yet.” Somehave accused him of peddling a mis
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